LOGAN, W.Va — The Chief Logan Lodge and Conference Center hosted a coming together of tourism officials from across West Virginia August 16.
The West Virginia Tourism Commission discussed current trends, challenges and goal for the tourism industry in West Virginia.
West Virginia Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin explained the state’s recent redesign of the tourism website, gotowv.com, and the release of travel guides which highlight the state’s businesses, natural beauties and various and diffuse activities are targeted directly at the burgeoning economic powerhouse that lies in the millennial generation.
Goodwin explained the deadly flooding which affected many parts of the state June 23, 2016 brought an undeniable tragedy that will not be forgotten.
The flooding, however, produced a situation where tourists from across the country and beyond began canceling their travel plans to the state.
Goodwin noted many cancellations were made in places that were not affected at all by the flooding, and a renewed effort to draw tourists to the state was launched days after the flooding.
Since June 23, requests for the state’s travel guides are up 25 percent and website sessions on gotowv.com are up 8.5 percent.
Steven Keith, with the advertising firm Miles Media, explained the company produces the state’s travel guides.
Keith noted the new focus on millennial tourists comes from a place centered on authenticity and added new changes are bringing parity between the state’s tourism website and the printed editions of the travel guides.
Keith ended his presentation on another note which should bring more millennials to West Virginia’s tourism table.
Plans are underway to make West Virginia’s 2017 travel guide completely sourced from social media accounts of the state’s tourists.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]